The Canberra Times

Cyber security warning for the world

Cyber security warning for the world

This is branded content from Kyndryl.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has heightened awareness around the use of cyber-attacks, putting organisations across the world on high alert.

The reality that wars are now also fought in cyberspace has forced governments and organisations across the world, including Australia, to assess their vulnerabilities.

Collin Penman, Security Practice Leader, Australia and New Zealand for Technology services provider Kyndryl says that Australian organisations need to pay close attention to the geo-political tensions in Eastern Europe and ensure they are prepared from a cybersecurity and resiliency standpoint.

"The Australian Cyber Security Centre's recent call for organisations to put cybersecurity measures in place should not be taken lightly.

"Businesses should not adopt a mindset that we are too physically distanced as a country to be impacted by what's happening globally.

"We live in a more digital world than ever before, and as a result cyber-attacks have very much become a key weapon that can cause damage far and wide," he said.

The targeted attacks on Ukrainian government departments and financial institutions have already shown that critical infrastructure is seen as the 'achilles heel' targeted by cyber criminals and should be protected at all costs.

"We've already witnessed the devastation that can occur when critical infrastructure is compromised, both overseas and here in Australia.

"The ransomware and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that impacted hospitals across the country last year have demonstrated just how high the stakes are when it comes to cybersecurity and mission-critical systems," Penman explained.

Cyber security warning for the world

"It's not just a matter of EFTPOS machines being down for a few hours, or people being locked out of their work computers.

"These attacks can pose a huge risk to national security and the safety of civilians," he continued.

"But it's not just these organisations that need to be cyber prepared.

"Behind every utility company, hospital, bank, and so on, there is also a significant network of smaller organisations in the supply chain that help keep the infrastructure operating."

So how can Australian organisations of all shapes and sizes be on the front foot with security in light of these global threats?

Penman suggests the first thing that the C-Suite and security teams should determine is just how ready they are should an incident occur.

Cyber security warning for the world

"This is important not just from a cybersecurity point of view, but also a policy point of view. If they haven't already, now is the time for organisations to dust off their incident response plans and make sure their cybersecurity policies are up to date.

"These plans shouldn't then just be filed away or put back in a locked drawer somewhere. They need to remain front and centre," he said.

"Organisations also need to look at who they have access to - both internally and externally and make sure all hands are on deck.

"Working with a partner such as Kyndryl, who has the engineering capabilities to secure the technology systems Australians depend on every day, can help organisations anticipate, protect against, and recover from potential threats."